What is a 4D pregnancy scan?

With today’s technology constantly changing, many parents have previously experienced a 3D ultrasound pregnancy but what is 4D and what is the difference??

Ultrasound works by submitting sound waves which bounce back to give an image. In 3D this is a fantastic way to visually see your baby in the womb, it is however a static image which in most machines can be tilted and moved to have a look at facial features.

4D on the other hand is far more advanced and sends back images in a movie type viewing- you can see your baby moving around, perhaps yawning, sticking their tongue out, moving their tiny hands and fingers or even stretching their little legs out and wriggling their toes. A 4D scan is a wonderful experience and then there’s there newest technology of upgrading to 4D HD which is even clearer.

So What Happens During The Scan?

The same as your NHS Scan, you will be asked to provide your maternity notes for the sonographer to observe. As long as there is no reason for the scan to not go ahead you will be asked through to the scanning room where you will lay on your back on the couch. The sonographer will apply the ultrasound gel to your tummy and apply the transducer probe which will send the sound waves via your abdomen and through your uterus. The sound waves will bounce off your baby in the form of echoes, the monitor will pick up these echo messages and translate them on to the screen.

Providing your scanning room has a TV, you will be able to watch your baby wriggling and moving.

Will I Get A Perfect Image?

Unfortunately the clarity of your ultrasound will be determined on many factors. 1 being the position of the baby. If your baby is not cooperating and not in the correct position, your sonographer may get you to try a few things to encourage baby to move. They do however have a mind of their own so sadly if baby does not want to move there should be no force. Most scanning clinics will invite you back for a 2nd attempt if they are not satisfied with the outcome. There is also the issues of placenta. If you have an anterior placenta, meaning it is at the front, this can also have an affect on the quality of your image as does the level of fluid surrounding your baby. If there is little fluid or not much space, it may be difficult to obtain a clear image.

A high BMI level may also affect how clear the image is. The newer Ultrasound machines do have options to help improve the image clarity where you will be able to see features of your baby. If you have any concerns it is best to discuss with your sonographer.

When Is The Best Time For A 4D Scan?

The best time to view your baby in 4D is from 27-34 weeks, the ultimate and best suggested time is around 29 weeks. After 35 weeks it is much harder to obtain an image as baby will be getting bigger resulting in less space but may also be firmly head down.

Is A 4D Scan Safe?

Studies have shown there is no cause of threat and that 3D / 4D scans are infact safe

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